Telling the difference between a player Scav and an AI Scav in Escape from Tarkov is quite tricky, especially for new players who are still trying to get a grasp of the game.
All raids begin with a bunch of Scavs already placed in all locations, and more arrive with each spawn wave, some being AI and others players. How can you tell them apart? Well, definitely not by their equipment, since AI Scavs spawn with different pieces of equipment and even different skill levels.
So, how do you tell them apart? Let’s discuss the tell-tale differences.
The first step in telling the difference between a player Scav and an AI Scav is to watch their behavior. AI Scavs are made to mimic players, and at first glance, it is hard to spot the difference, but if you stick around for a while, you will begin to notice the small details. The first example that comes to mind is how their movements are not fluid at all. Whenever an AI Scav turns around, they make a very unnatural turn. Kind of reminds me of Samara from the Ring moving around, to be honest.
What other details should you be looking at? First of all, AI Scavs like to walk around to certain positions and then they stop for no reason in a place with no loot and zero strategic positioning. Aside from that, they also tend to stop and “loot” containers, but if you pay close attention, you will notice that they never seem to take anything from the containers and they never spend too much time looking through them.
AI Scavs rarely sprint but when they do, they make a weird noise, kind of like dragging their feet or something. Plus they often stand still in one place, just looking around. They always stick to the zones they begin the raid in. And if they spot you, they will try to kill you on sight, while player Scavs tend to hesitate.
As you well know, Escape From Tarkov allows players to communicate with each other. AI Scavs also speak with voice chat, but they tend to do so in Russian and at very random times.
If all other methods fail, then combat is an effective way for you to distinguish a player Scav from an AI Scav. Why? Well, AI Scavs are generally easy to kill, even when in groups. Picture AI Scavs as Stormtroopers, seeing as none of them seem to have a decent aim or any strategic thinking.
Another easy way to tell the difference between a player Scav and an AI Scav in Escape From Tarkov is PMCs, a.k.a. Private Military Contractors. PMCs are always played by players. Plus, AI Scavs will never look to be extracted.
I know it might be hard at first, but after a while, you will be able to spot the difference between player Scavs and AI Scavs on sight. So keep these tips in mind and pick your fights smartly in your Escape from Tarkov raids!